Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How I Love a Parade! #bookgiveaway

By Francesca “Fresca” Conti Murphy Schmidt, from the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz

The Killer Characters' Cozy Up to Summer book giveaway continues! Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of any Food Lovers' Village Mystery--reader's choice! 

I love a good parade.

But the best parades of all are small-town parades, and Jewel Bay’s is quite possibly the best.

My favorite part is the little dancers and gymnasts. It can’t be easy, dancing to a beat on a boombox one of the parents is carrying, or doing handstands and pirouettes on the hot asphalt while wearing a tutu with your hair up – the heat can undo them -- but they are so cute. One year the organizers goofed and let the Back Country Horsemen ride in front of them. I was so mad I could have screamed.

The classic cars and trucks are always popular. Seems like every Camaro owner in the county wants to show off, but it’s the really old rigs I enjoy – the 1950 turquoise Ford Thunderbird, the pink Chevy, the Model A, the 1924 Rolls Royce. Even some of the old farm trucks clean up good!

For several years, a darling boy dressed as Super Man and rode through town – it’s only three blocks – strapped to the front of his grandparents’ golf cart, fists clenched, arms in the air. I bet his arms were tired by the time the parade reached the park, where they serve all the kids ice cream. People were a little sad to see him grow up and grow out of the part.

Some business sponsor floats—the nursery always decorates a truck like a garden. I enjoy seeing some of the residents of the senior home riding and waving. And the kids love collecting the candy.

There are bagpipers, clowns, and mountain men, and occasionally llamas. The Playhouse kids, all young actors, climb up in a big old farm truck and sing show tunes.

I’m not crazy about election years and all the campaigners. Yes, it’s a great opportunity to see and be seen, and we are celebrating our independence, and free and fair elections are a huge part of our American heritage. But those little tiny paper flags are a bear to sweep up afterwards.

The volunteer fire department trots out its old tanker—the water tank looks like a Russian samovar.

And bringing up the rear is the Caldwell’s big antique fire truck, loaded with Lodge guests. Schedule your family reunion at Jewel Bay’s dude ranch, and you might end up riding in the parade! Keith Caldwell loves pulling the cord to ring the old horn, but what everyone waits for is the water hose, cooling us off!

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday!


What Fourth of July celebrations do you have on tap? 

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of any Food Lovers' Village Mystery--reader's choice! (US and Canadian addresses only; winner will be chosen Thursday, June 29.) 


From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.



Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

(Parade photos from the Bigfork Chamber of Commerce.)

54 comments:

  1. I have only been to one parade. It was crowded and hot, but the floats were interesting. I hope to make it to another one eventually! mbradeen@yahoo.com

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  2. I haven't been to a parade in years but they are such fun. Have a happy and safe 4th of July everyone.
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  3. Our daughter and her family are coming for the weekend. We will attend at 4th of July party at friends' house. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

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  4. I live in the Land of 10000 lakes, so seeing nearby fireworks over a body of water is a must! Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. Fireworks are the culmination of a great day spent wit the family. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. amy guillaume lindermanJune 27, 2017 at 8:28 AM

    we are going to my parent's house for the week. we plan to fish, have a cookout and we can see fireworks from their driveway!

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  7. No parade this year. We'll probably grill with our neighbors. Dmskrug3(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Ha -- I misread this as grilling your neighbors, an entirely different kind of fireworks!

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  8. I love parades also and I think that I will love this book. Thanks for sharing.
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. Parades are wonderful. Especially small town parades which I have experienced. Thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  10. I love parades! Thanks for the chance.
    maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  11. Watching the 4th fireworks in the park.
    But I've gotten old and creaky and
    dislike being in big crowds so I
    sit in my recliner and watch
    the fireworks that go over the trees
    from the park. Just as much fun and
    a lot easier. Don't have any parades
    in July - those are for homecoming in
    September and in December for Santa to
    arrive in town.
    thanks.
    txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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  12. We will have a swim day and BBQ and then watch the fireworks debbie.erickson14@gmail.com

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  13. Love seeing all your plans! Mine? I'll head over to see my mother Fri & Sat, sign books in Helena on Sat, and come home to hang out with Mr. Right and Mr. Kitten. Lots of great food planned, and yes, a parade!

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  14. No special plans for the holiday. I live in a small town which has a four day homecoming celebration which includes a parade similar to the one here.

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    Replies
    1. Love how small towns celebrate the kids and sports, and make homecoming a town-wide event!

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  15. Strictly family related activities. We will of course visit my mother-in-law at the nursing home, work around the yard, cook out, and try to take in some fireworks.

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  16. I am from Chicago but we moved to South Holland, onion capitol of the world, when I was 8. They had a huge parade on 4th of July every year. One of the highlights of the holiday!!oneponychick66@hotmail.com

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  17. We often go to the Blues Festival here in Portland, Oregon..it's a huge music festival with five stages all set up along the banks of the Willamette River. Other than that, my husband and I barbecue on July 4th. Thanks for the chance to win! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. I am not sure what my plans are yet. I am definitely going to be watching the fireworks in the evening. Thank you so much for the chance to win!
    magicgirl2357@yahoo.com

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  19. Remember to leave your email address if you'd like a chance to win TREBLE -- Mr. Kitten has many superpowers, but finding you without an address isn't one of them!

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  20. I used to go to the parade when my son was little in my old home town. He enjoyed it. My husband and I watch the Boston Pops on tv every year. Thank you for the giveaway. pgenest57 at aol dot com

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  21. We have a little parade here in our community on July 4th. A neighbor has an antique fire truck that leads the way. My grandchildren love to watch the parade, if they happen to be visiting.
    cecilialyoung at gmail.com

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  22. My Dad used to drive an antique fire truck in a 4th of July parade in Dallas with a 4 piece banjo band in the back-- those were the best! Not sure what we're doing this year, we've gotten kind of boring ~bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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    Replies
    1. A 4-piece banjo band? Now that would be quite a sight and sound!

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  23. We'll walk in Crown Point's parade & have a cookout at Grandmas (we do all the cooking/cleaning). We can see the fireworks from her house!
    Cheers-
    Kelly Braun
    Gaelicark(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  24. No big plans for the holiday. Every year, my city has a big fire works show on July 3 and a huge parade on July 4. Thanks for the chance to win! cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

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  25. My main recollection of holiday parades was the high school band marching in their wool uniforms. It would be terribly hot and as the speeches went on they would start fainting from the heat.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. Mr. Right remembers playing the trumpet when his high school band, the Great Falls Charles M. Russell High School Rustlers, marched in the 1971 Rose Parade. Montana kids in wool uniforms, boots and hats in So Cal? Hotter than blazes but he loved it anyway!

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  26. I love small town parades! When I was in high school I marched in the band and got in the games for free. As I got older, I still enjoy the local parades.

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  27. We'll go to our town's parade if the weather is nice.
    sgiden at verizon.net

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  28. I like to watch the fireworks the town sets off from my balcony. turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

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  29. Cookouts with family are always fun! We also like to shoot off fireworks. acate9(at)utk(dot)edu

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  30. Fireworks are my favorite. I love to go see fireworks and can't wait for them every year. catwoman-1(at)comcast(dot)net

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  31. I haven't been to a parade in years. Our town has a 4th of July concert and fireworks following the concert. Looking forward to the fireworks this year.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  32. niece's wedding

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  34. It's been years since I've been to a parade. Maybe I should brave the crowds and go to our local parade on the 4th.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  35. They have great fireworks here in Marquette, MI! bobwiesmann(at)gmail(dot)com

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  36. Book looks very interesting. Looking forward to it. Hoping for sooner though. Our thing is backyard BBQ and the weather permitting. A trip to the lake for a swim. We alternate each year with a camping trip. Wish we were doing that this year. But since we did it last year. But they also put on a great fireworks show each year. This year I'm not helping with the float. Still working. Thought I'd be done by now. Oh, Well. Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc (dot) com

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  37. We have a town wide festival the last weekend of June & that ends with fireworks so the 4th of July is quiet, but this year they can sell fireworks in Iowa for the first time so it will be interesting to see what happens. I love this series, so thanks for the giveaway! doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  38. We haven't decided on our plans for the Fourth yet. We'll have a friend visiting from out of town, so I hope to do something fun. Maybe spend the day in nearby Southport - they have a big Independence Day celebration every year - or take it easy by the pool, cookout, and go see fireworks at night. :) Thanks for the post and the giveaway! picard1900 (at) gmail . com

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  39. Fireworks are obviously high on the lists here! We often go sit with friends on a hill above the lake and watch from there. Some folks watch from their boats -- I'm not sure we're gutsy enough sailors to do that! A year or two ago, the fire danger was so high that all displays had to be cancelled. Happily not the case this year!

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  40. No 4th of July celebration is complete without fireworks! Thanks for the chance to win one of your books.
    suemngirl(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  41. My car club has a party to watch the fireworks from a home on the hilltop overlooking the city.
    kckendler at gmail dot com

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  42. I love to go to parades to listen to the music but I don;t like the fireworks that they set off there. Now it is legal to buy fireworks in Ia is fine but some of the cities have also made it legal to set them off during certain dates. I am not a big fan of the ones set off by the public as they are so dangerous but the ones that the city does we watch those from our home and we can see 6 or 7 other cities fireworks as we are on top of a hill. So glad that we are in a rural area as we have little pups that don';t like the noise. We will watch the fireworks from our house! ptclayton2@aol.com

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    1. Tis hard on the pups sometimes, for sure. Shower them with extra love!

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  43. A quiet 4th is usually in the works. We enjoy watching the fireworks and music on PBS. Thanks for the chance to win! Love your books. ljbonkoski@yahool.com

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  44. Sometimes we go to the little parade downtown. Our town is right on the Ohio River. They set the fireworks off on a barge on the river.This year our grandchildren will be here. jluebke(at)frontier(dot)com

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  45. We have an awesome fireworks display across the Mississippi River on July 3rd.
    agavigan@cox.net

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    Replies
    1. Fireworks over the Mississippi sounds fabulous!

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  46. We're hanging out at home on the 4th. Might watch fireworks on TV or maybe even in person if some of our neighbors do them. They may well be if the ones they've been shooting off the last day or two are any indication. robbfan141729(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  47. Waiting to hear from the winner ....

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  48. Congrats to the winner of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST: Autumn Trapani!

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